Preferred name: Taylor
Age at Interview: 45
Age at diagnosis: 41
Background: Taylor lives with her partner in a rural area. She was born in Australia.
Taylor was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when she was 41. She has tried a variety of medications. Taylor sees a GP and has a case worker, and is currently prescribed an antidepressant.
Clips from Taylor's Interview
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More about Taylor
When she was in her early 40s and working, Taylor was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She attributed this to injuring her shoulder in an accident at work, after which she 'just fell in a heap'. Finding it 'very hard to cope', Taylor described how she felt 'useless' and 'frustrated' after her injury, and began having panic attacks around other people, which made her reluctant to socialise. After this injury and the resulting symptoms, she explained how although her workplace tried to get her back in her position, it 'never worked because of my anxiety'.
The GP Taylor was seeing for her shoulder injury referred her to another GP specialising in mental health who diagnosed her with anxiety and depression. She said it had taken her some time to accept her diagnosis and she has not told her mother yet, because Taylor doesn't think she would be very understanding. She described her mother as 'from the old school', explaining that she felt that the older generation didn't 'believe in mental disorders' and that there was 'denial' around mental health issues. However, her partner and brother have been 'very, very supportive', and she finds her GP 'very helpful' and easy to talk to.
Taylor's GP prescribed her medication after her diagnosis and she has tried 'a number' of different medications. Her current antidepressant medication is 'going okay' at the moment. She described being on two medications previously and said one of these made her 'feel like a zombie'. Taylor said coming off a medication to switch to a new one was 'the worst part' of taking medication because 'your symptoms come back'.
In terms of support from mental health professionals, Taylor has found psychiatrists and psychologists to be 'more medical' and felt that they hadn't 'helped [her] at all'. She found they gave her 'methods' to handle her symptoms, but she said she 'needed someone to hold [her] hand' through the experiences that had caused her anxiety. In contrast, she described her support worker as 'on the same level' as her, and 'very understanding'. As an example, Taylor said her support worker would come to her house for therapy sessions, and had encouraged her to attend a 'ladies' group' even though she doesn't 'like getting out much'. She has made 'a really good friend' from this group, who had 'been through' similar experiences, which Taylor appreciates.
Taylor explained that she promotes mental wellbeing by 'being kind to [herself]' by going on walks, enjoying chocolate, and taking naps when she needs them. She believes that 'with support [she'll] get better and better'.